While Habitat may be building affordable housing in faith and hope, their supporters were putting their faith in ropemakers as well as the builders and (post-bomb) renovators of Belfast’s Europa hotel as they abseiled down the side of it on Saturday morning.
My wife is either very brave or very foolish. Certainly you wouldn’t find me stepping backwards off the top of the Europa hotel for a gentle stroll (backwards) down the side of the building.
That’s her up between the E and the U of the big sign.
Not everyone was enjoying such a solid start. But after a bit of rescuing and restarting, everyone made it on a rope down to the bottom and through the patio door back into the hotel to safety and the comfort of floors.
We ended up waiting about an hour on the other side of the road just up from the Crown waiting for Cheryl to appear. Littl’un seemed completely unperturbed by the fact that Mummy was dangling off the top of a building. But then, I suppose I’d decided there was no point getting at all worried either.
The organisers had four ropes going simultaneously, with people at various stages of descent.
Time to appraise the different styles of descent. Some – including Cheryl’s colleague Katrina – were prepared to turn around a wave to the crowds gathered on the far side of the street, and in the window to amused guests.
One man – no doubt despite specific instruction to the contrary – bounced his way down. He obviously knew what he was doing. The lolloping motion reminded me of pictures of Apollo astronauts doing their moonwalks. Graceful bouncing. Though it meant he was down in half a minute – a quarter of most other peoples’ descent.
So rather her than me.
And if the Gift Aid supplement is added to the raw donations, she’s raised two thirds of the price of a Habitat house in the developing world – that’s £800 against a target of £1,235. So thanks to all of you who donated, and sent good wishes.